(Editor’s note: The original headline of this podcast was changed to better reflect the increasing challenges farmers face due to climate change, and clarify that corn and soybean crops will remain strong.)
In 2018, a raft of Purdue University researchers published a report on the impact of climate change on Indiana agriculture. It looked at the ways increasing temperatures and rainfall could affect the growing season for crops, the types of crops that could be planted, the health of farm animals and the prevalence of weeds, pests, and disease.
Even for Hoosiers who spend most of their time in air-conditioned environments, the future of agriculture is a very big deal. About 15 million acres of land in Indiana are devoted to farm operations, which is about two-thirds of the entire state. There are 55,000 farms throughout Indiana and agriculture contributes about $35 billion to Indiana’s economy every year.
For this week’s edition of the IBJ Podcast, host Mason King wants to get a sense of how climate change is playing out on the ground in Indiana farm fields. For guests, he has invited three members of Purdue’s agronomy faculty, including an expert in soybeans and an expert in corn. They’re quick to note how much more difficult it is for the tens of thousands of farmers in Indiana to make the right decisions at the right times, but the future is still bright for farmers who have the tools and willingness to adapt to quickening change.
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Looking for another podcast to try? Check out IBJ’s The Freedom Forum with Angela B. Freeman, a monthly discussion about diversity and inclusion in central Indiana’s business community.